Saint Francis and the Sow Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Saint Francis and the Sow.
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Innocence and Guilt

The "bud" may stand "for all things" in this poem, but one of its most common associations is with "innocence." A bud is a flower in its infancy, both vulnerable to the elements and powerful in its potential beauty. Like any infant being, it is unblemished, whole, and pure in its emergent form. Seventeenth-century poet Thomas Traherne exalted the delights of infancy and childhood throughout his work, and expressed innocence in images of light:

No darkness then did overshade, But all within was pure and bright; No guilt did crush nor fear invade. But all my soul was full of light.

Some poets explore the condition of innocence through its contrasts. In the late eighteenth century. William Blake composed pairs of "songs" such as "The Lamb" and "The Tyger" whose seeming simple dualisms are challenged by a poetic voice who asks the tiger, "Did he who...

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This section contains 1,527 words
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Poetry for Students
Saint Francis and the Sow from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.